At the Ref Desk (8/18/17): So what happens if the moon just gets stuck? Then what do we do? #SolarEclipse2017 [more...]

The Real Gadget Revolution: Web on the Go

Submitted by Leo Klein on Thu, 3/26/09 (9:12pm)

I find it amusing that there's so much buzz (some of it manufactured?) about the Amazon Kindle. The real revolution is all around us (which is what you'd expect for a revolution): it's people using smart-phones or netbooks to text each other, send email and photos, and otherwise access the Internet.

Now we have a report by the Pew Research Center which reflects pretty much what anyone taking a train or bus home can observe every day:

Cast a glance at any coffee shop, train station or airport boarding gate, and it is easy to see that mobile access to the internet is taking root in our society. Open laptops or furrowed brows staring at palm-sized screens are evidence of how routinely information is exchanged on wireless networks.

The report goes on to look at the roll that "mobile internet access" plays in various user groups. It concludes that the tech bar "has risen":

In the past, having tech gear such as broadband at home generally placed people on the cutting edge; that is no longer the case in this edition of the typology. Our new study shows that mobile connectivity is the new centerpiece of high-tech life.

[h/t ResourceShelf]

Institution: 

2 comments

by knowist on Mon, 3/30/09 (12:07am)

Isn't the appeal of the kindle that its fundamentally different from these hyper connected technologies? One can sit back and read a book on a large font, non eye straining screen. Less bulk than paperbacks. Potentially with better royalty distribution directly to authors?

by Leo Klein on Mon, 3/30/09 (9:14am)

It seems it's fundamentally different only in the limitations of the device.

No Network

The fact that it's not networked in this Era of Connectivity is not something I would understand as a feature.

eInk! eInk!

As far as the less eye strain is concerned, I really feel this is in the eye of the beholder. When I look at the thing, all I think is Eighties Technology -- including the screen.

Less Bulk

Well, when you figure out that you have to take your cell phone and your netbook or laptop, maybe a camera, and then in addition to all this, an Amazon Kindle as well, you start wondering who else is coming to help carry all this stuff.